Burglar who targeted charity shops is jailed

A burglar who targeted charity shops in Staffordshire has been jailed for three years by a judge.

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Three of the shops were in Stone’s High Street where John Clive also broke into the offices of Crick & Mardling solicitors.

His crime spree, in February this year, started at the Mitchell Memorial Theatre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, which suffered over £800 worth of damage, followed by a raid on the Douglas Macmillan Hospice shop in Biddulph.

The three charities to suffer in Stone were Cancer Research, Age Concern and the British Heart Foundation.

Stafford Crown Court heard Clive used the same method to burgle the shops – making a hole in the ceiling. Clive, aged 28, of no fixed address, admitted six charges of burglary.

Judge Simon Tonking told him: “These buildings were targeted and the buildings you targeted were charity shops, all committed at night and while on drugs.”

Miss Fiona Cortese, prosecuting, said the burglaries in Stone all happened on the night of February 21-22. Nothing was taken from the solicitors but Clive stole jewellery from Cancer Research.

Clive failed to break open the safe at the BHF but stole jewellery there while Age Concern lost £80 in cash and its goods were left strewn about.

Clive got in to the theatre on February 1 by smashing a kitchen window. Nothing was stolen. The intruder was identified by the theatre’s security cameras.

Three days later, Clive forced open the safe at the Macmillan Hospice shop and stole £800 in cash, plus £50 from the till.

Police arrested Clive on February 22 at a friend’s house in Cobridge. He still had a bag containing stolen jewellery. His footwear matched footprints left at two of the premises in Stone.

The court heard Clive had a record of 59 previous offences, including 23 burglaries. Mr Mark Nicholls, defending, said Clive had been a drug user and his explanation for the offences was a lack of accommodation. He was now clean of drugs, the court was told.

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